SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – A team led by General Dynamics (NYSE:GD) today was awarded a $295 million contract to develop small, lightweight software-defined radios for use by all branches of the U.S. military in devices such as unattended sensors and soldier systems. General Dynamics, a leader in the development of the computer-based radio technology that uses software to enable a single system to emulate many types of radio, is the prime contractor for the program. The contract has a potential value in excess of $1 billion through 2011 if all options are exercised.
The U.S. Army developer for the radio is the Office of the Product Manager for JTRS Cluster 5 within the Project Management Office for Warfighter Information Network-Tactical, part of the Ft. Monmouth-based Program Executive Office for Command, Control and Communications-Tactical.
Called “Cluster 5” of the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) program, this effort will transform joint service operations by providing communication flexibility and adaptability to fighting forces. By delivering three different device types – power-efficient manpack, handheld and “small-form-factor” applications – the program will meet future warfighting needs for decades to come. As many as 14 applications or form factors could be called for under the contract, each driven by an advanced radio core the size of a credit card.
“JTRS Cluster 5 provides the crucial last-mile connectivity to the Army’s transformation vision, and enhances the ability of U.S. joint forces and our allies to fulfill their global missions,” said Mark Fried, president and general manager of General Dynamics C4 Systems. “This is the first time in modern telecommunications history that the military will effectively leapfrog ahead of the commercial communications market as it relates to radio capabilities.”
Currently, joint military deployments require the services to rely on many makes, models and types of radios, and few of them communicate seamlessly with others. The JTRS program plans to replace the traditional hardware radios currently deployed with devices that can emulate any radio’s capabilities by simply changing software. Fielded JTRS radios can be upgraded with new software via the wireless information network. This ability to insert emerging technology into the JTRS system paves the way for broadening the radios’ performance and creating new applications such as sensors for signals intelligence.
General Dynamics will lead the development of common hardware and software elements that will be used in all Cluster 5 Joint Tactical Radio sets, as well as provide program management and systems engineering expertise, and manufacture some of the radios to be delivered through this program.
About the General Dynamics’ Cluster 5 Team
The General Dynamics JTRS Cluster 5 team also includes BAE SYSTEMS (Wayne, N.J.), Rockwell Collins (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) and Thales Communications (Clarksburg, Md.), which are all qualified manufacturers of Cluster 5 products.Other technology contributors include Agile Communications (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), Altera (San Jose, Calif.), Datasoft (Tempe, Ariz.), RedZone Robotics (Pittsburgh, Penn.), Sarnoff Corporation (Arlington, Va.), Tessera (San Jose, Calif.), Vanu Inc. (Cambridge, Mass.), General Dynamics Robotic Systems (Westminster, Md.) and General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems (Arlington, Va.).
BAE Systems Communication, Navigation, Identification and Reconnaissance group has a long history in radio products and ad hoc networking solutions, including leadership roles in JTRS technology, Advanced Joint C4ISR Node Multi-Mission Platform and the Army’s Future Combat Systems team for ground and air communications. BAE Systems has demonstrated and developed architecture, hardware and firmware compliant with the new JTRS Software Communication Architecture standards and is working with General Dynamics to meet Cluster 5 size, weight and power requirements. BAE Systems is a co-developer and qualified manufacturer of many of the Cluster 5 form factors including all classes of unmanned aerial vehicle, unattended ground sensors, and intelligent munition systems.
Rockwell Collins provides design, production and support of aviation electronics and communications for government and commercial customers worldwide. Rockwell Collins will leverage its worldwide leadership in wireless communication and avionics to provide leadership in the development of all classes of unmanned aerial vehicle and manpack radios for the program. The company will be a qualified manufacturing source for these and other Cluster 5 form factors. In addition, Rockwell Collins will lead the effort to integrate waveform software into the Cluster 5 radio sets for the General Dynamics team.
Thales Communications, Inc. is a global leader in providing battle-proven, software-defined, tactical radios for use in size, weight and power-constrained environments. Thales has delivered more than 30,000 software-defined tactical radios to the U.S. government, the governments of allied nations, and various tactical radio prime contractors. Thales brings the expertise and success on the JTRS Cluster 2 (Special Operations Command procurement) program to the General Dynamics team, helping to ensure that the Army’s schedule is achieved in a low risk, cost effective and fully compliant manner. They will lead the development of the Cluster 5 Handheld and be a qualified manufacturing source for these and other form factors.
About General Dynamics
General Dynamics C4 Systems is a leading integrator of secure communications and information systems and technology. With more than 7,000 employees worldwide, the company specializes in command and control, communications networking, computing and information assurance for defense, government and select commercial customers in the U.S. and abroad.
General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, employs approximately 68,400 people worldwide and anticipates 2004 revenues of $19 billion. The company has leading market positions in mission critical information systems and technologies; land and amphibious combat systems; shipbuilding and marine systems; and business aviation.